Chandigarh, Feb. 2: Three schoolchildren died when their van ran into a locomotive at an unmanned crossing and was dragged 30 metres over the railway tracks.
The accident took place at Heeraj village in Ferozepur district.
The van was carrying the children to the Shah Balwant Rai DAV Public School. Ferozepur SSP Dinesh Pratap Singh said the incident occurred at 8.30am.
The van was dragged for about 30 metres by the engine which was on its way to Ludhiana. The children were students of classes IV to X.
Among those killed were two girls, Sandeep Kaur and Rupinder Kaur, from Class X and Class IX, respectively.
The third dead child was identified as Class IV student Shubhkarnpreet Singh. The condition of four was said to be critical.
Eyewitnesses claimed the van was being driven recklessly by Kulwant Singh who is absconding. Visibilty was not poor when the mishap occurred.
School principal U.R. Vashist said railway personnel should man most crossings in the region. Most children come from villages that lie across railway tracks with unmanned paths leading to them, Vashisht said.